The Contractors and Consultants Classification, and Engineers Registration Office of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, had applied new systems for classification of contracting companies , and engineering consulting offices since November last year.
The Contractors Classification Office embarked during this year on the re-organization and restructuring of the activities of contractors, consultants and engineers to keep pace with developments in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, especially in the construction sector, which is one of the most important sectors that contribute to increasing GDP growth in the emirate.
The engineering consulting offices transactionscidicator revealed that in 2011 processes conducted totaled to 893 including 42 new classifications, 813 registration renewals, 26 modifications of offices and 12 additions to specializations. License renewals conducted increased by 30% compared to 623 renewals in 2010. Since the implementation of the new regulations, 42 engineering consulting offices were classified in Abu Dhabi till the end of this year, whereas the number of registered and classified engineering consulting offices amounted to 684.
Engineer Ahmed Abdurrahman Al Burkani, the Director of the Contractors and Consultants Classification, and Engineers Registration Office, explained that since the implementation of the new classification system, engineering offices continued to adjust their positions to be classified according to the new regulations within the two years grace period set for engineering offices and non-classified construction companies, which will end on November 21, 2012. Construction companies classified according to the old system were given a period of four years, which will expire on November 21, 2014.Al Burkani said that the application of the new classification systems resulted in fine-tuning of a number of engineering consulting offices in line with the technical, legal and procedural changes required for the next phase, in which the emirate is expected to witness great development and expansion in urban areas and different cities.
The report indicated that the total number of classified and unclassified contracting companies in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reached 6123 companies, whereas the number of companies classified by the new system until the end of the year was 358 companies. Meanwhile, the number of companies classified according to the old system stood at 1482, bringing the total number of classified contracting companies in Abu Dhabi to 1840 companies and the number of unclassified contracting companies to 4283 in 2011.Transactions regarding contracting companies indicated that 358 companies were classified for the first time in Abu Dhabi in addition to 561 renewals, 28 companies were upgraded , 4 companies were downgraded and 19 different transactions including modification of activities and trade names.Al Burkani said that the steady number of contracting companies registered in Abu Dhabi until the end of 2011, is an evidence of the of economic growth in the emirate and the favorable economic climate which, reflects the success of the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in attracting businesses and investment, in line with the goals of Abu Dhabi Economic 2030 to place the emirate of Abu Dhabi among the best five governments in the world.According to Engineer Al Burkani, the classified contracting companies have contributed significantly over the past two years to augmenting the share of the construction and real estate sector in the GDP of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and to the completion of development projects in the emirate, despite the challenges imposed by the global cricis on the international and regional arenas.
The application of new classification systems, in November of last year, inspired contractors and consultants adjust their positions and be classified according specific criteria and standards which commensurate with expertise and financial and technical capabilities.
The Contractors and Consultants Classification, and Engineers Registration Office organizedthree workshops during 2011 in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region to explain the regulations currently in place and exchange views and opinions with concerned authorities and the companies that have been classified. This came within the keenness of the Department of Economic Development to develop and activate laws and regulations, raise performance levels and set necessary requirements for the next phase of major development and expected expansion in various urban areas and cities of the emirate.
In December 2011 the Contractors Classification Office organized an introductory workshop on the Financial Requirements of the Classification Systems of Contractors and Consultants, with the participation of more than 100 representatives of accounting and auditing offices operating in Abu Dhabi. The workshop included a description of the financial systems of the classification and their importance for the classification of contracting and consulting offices as well as auditing mechanisms used in the new classification systems.
Consulting offices classified according to the new regulations in the city of Abu Dhabi, amounted to 32 offices and 10 offices in Al Ain, while the total number of engineering consulting offices registered in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reached 642 offices, with 520 in the city of Abu Dhabi, 118 in Al Ain and 4 in the Western Region.Contracting companies classified according to the new regulations at the level of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi amounted to 358 until the end of the year 2011, with 238 companies in the city of Abu Dhabi, 98 in Al Ain and 22 in the Western Region. The number of construction companies, classified according to the old system until the end of the year totaled 1482 companies, of which 1064 were in Abu Dhabi, in addition to 415 in Al Ain and 3 in the Western Region
The Director of the Classification Office Ahmed Al Burkani emphasized that the continued high rate of renewal contractors licenses after the adoption of the new systems of classification, reflects the success of these regulations in the meeting the requirements and needs of these companies, and to improve and develop the business environment in the construction sector.
Al Burkani added that the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi has worked since the end of last year on the application of the classification of contractors and engineering consulting offices, and the setting of an integrated database to facilitate offering ideas, proposals and recommendations for further development, and help prepare sound studies to aid decision-makers in the Emirate.
Article (11) of the Law No. (2) /2009 Concerning the Establishing the Department of Economic Development, authorized the Department to issue appropriate systems for contractors and consultants classification, and engineers registration. This falls in line with the set priorities of the strategic plan of the Department to broaden the base of private sector institutions and enable them as the driving force for economic growth. The new classification systems which were adopted as of 22 November last year came as a result of three years of research and comparative studies.
According to the Regulation No. (1) / 2009 on the Classification of Engineering Consulting Offices, issued by the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi classification is based on the financial and technical capabilities, expertise of engineers and previous experiences. The owner of the consulting office is allowed to owning more than one office. The owner of a contracting establishment is also allowed to own an engineering consulting office. A citizen investor can also own an engineering consulting office within specified controls.The new Regulation No. (2) for the year 2009 Concerning Contractors Classification took into account the developments in the construction sector since 1980, when the Contractors Classification Regulation No. (4) of 1980 was issued. Now the focus is on increasing the estimated value in which the contractor can participate to give him more room to participate in tenders and the possibility of grouping the values of projects completed by the contractor.
According to this system the classification applies to all contractors who practice contracting activities that are classified by the Department of Economic Development, with the possibility of classification of contractors who carry out designing and construction of projects in accordance with the same criteria used for classification of contractors, namely, (financial capability, the technical staff working for the designing and construction contractor, as well as previous experience and implemented projects) and other administrative requirements.
The Regulation No. (3) for the year 2009 Concerning Engineers Registration which will be launched soon for the first time in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, will examine and test engineers working in the emirate and intending to be listed on the Register of Engineers at the Department of Economic development. This will require all contractors and engineering consulting offices to appoint engineers who are registered at the Engineers Section of the Department of Economic Development.
The most important feature of these systems is that they ensure equitable distribution of projects among all categories of classifications, and offer equal opportunities for all contractors and consultants, through stating of estimated values of projects that may undertaken, and ensuring that all contractors and consultants will abide by this distribution through periodic and random inspections, Ahmed Al Burkani Director, commented.
Engineer Al burkani added that the Department of Economic Development worked in the past in order to reach an agreement with implementing entities, to develop regulations to ensure equitable distribution of some parts of major projects to small businesses, also took into account that Classified and unclassified companies would not be affected by these systems. The Department, thus keenly granted a grace period which extends to four years for contractors and two years for engineering consulting offices operating in the Emirate to adjust with the new requirements.